The Newest Craze: Caffeine Vaping

Cup of coffee with brown sugar.

There’s a good chance you haven’t heard yet about this unusual new trend: vaping caffeine in place of your normal morning cappuccino. While it might sound like an unusual new habit, it seems to be working for at least some people. But how do you know if you should give it a try?

What is it, exactly?[Read more]

Soothe Your Stress with Flowers: Why Flowers Are Essential for Humans

Flowers can heal!

People often have a simplistic notion of flowers. They are synonymous with weddings and anniversaries. You give them to a loved one as a way to say “I love you” or “I’m sorry.” When we need to express an emotion, we offer flowers almost out of habit, but do we ever stop to think about what flowers mean to us and the world around us?… [Read more]

Prepare for a Power Outage With These Tips

Power and Energy

In 2013, there were a reported 14.5 power outage events per month throughout the United States, according to InsideEnergy.org. Some of these outages lasted a few hours, while others lasted for days. Make sure you and your family are equipped to handle any length of power outage with these basic safety measures and preparation tips.

Before a Power Outage

Stock an emergency kit with supplies and tools that can help you manage the absence of basic services.… [Read more]

Plastic Surgery: Five Growing Trends in Today’s Beauty Industry

Plastic Surgery Five Growing Trends in Today's Beauty Industry

The aesthetic surgery and beauty industry depend on a good economy for growth. Right now there is an increase, but in past years of recessions in 2001 and 2007-09, the stagnation of the economy led to less procedures and products bought. The products supplied and bought are some of the most profitable since they can change and move with a flexible economy.… [Read more]

Doomed Diversity: How is America’s Culture Changing?

Diversity

For over two hundred years, the dream of America has been the goal for many people from many lands. From those who believed the roads were paved with gold, to those seeking religious or economic freedom, it has been a country of people from diverse cultures. The Melting Pot of the World used to be an apt description of America.… [Read more]

Safest and Most Dangerous Commuter Cities

Driving and commuter cities

Every year, Allstate Insurance compiles its America’s Best Drivers Report, which uses auto insurance claims data to assess the frequency of car crashes in the country’s 200 largest cities. As CBS News notes, Allstate factors in important data like traffic volume, city population and weather conditions when determining its ratings.

And the Winners Are…

Drivers from Fort Collins, Colorado, can take a well-deserved bow.… [Read more]

Fear of a Replacement

Busy!

When we start our career, we become so focused on performance, that soon all other things in our lives come second. Social pressure forces us to strive for success in the workplace. It appears that as we evolve, one person’s level of status, or their defining character, is correlated with how well they have climbed the corporate ladder.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: Do you find last week’s election results encouraging?

Mrs. Vera with Doll House

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Do you find last week’s election results encouraging?

Yours not convinced truly, Ken…Cloacanellie? Canolismelly? Cootchycootchycoo-new-hell-pee?

Mrs. Vera Newman,San Francisco, California.Photo: Michael Johnstone

Dear Mr. Cucinelli,

Not knowing the spelling of one’s last name can lead to some confusion at the ballot box and that may have been a factor in your defeat you could have anticipated, but it’s too late, now.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: How can I stretch my food stamp allowance to make healthy meals for my family?

Vera with wooly hair worms

Dear Mrs. Vera,

How can I stretch my food stamp allowance to make healthy meals for my family?

Kindest Regards, Emeril J. Lagasse, Fall River, MA

Mrs. Vera Newman,San Francisco, California.Photo: Cameron Wolf

Dear Emeril,

Love your Yukon Gold potato nest recipe, the one filled with tiny creamed onions.  That dish could be scaled up to provide crispy housing for the homeless and starving, and any tiny onion babies they have still clinging to life in those red “right-to-starve” states.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: Are we still fighting The Civil War?

Vera, with peacock feather

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Are we still fighting The Civil War?

Fond Regards, Charles Rangel (D-NY)

Mrs. Vera Newman,San Francisco, California.Photo: Vinc LeVinc, 2004.

Dear Charo’s Tangles,

So lovely to hear from you again after all this time. My readers may not know this, but before entering politics and getting himself elected into office in New York, Mr.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: So, is it time for the voters of Ohio to recall John Boehner?

Doodle_179_Why_Boehner_is_Orange

Dear Mrs. Vera,

So, is it time for the voters of Ohio to recall GOP Speaker of the House, John Boehner?

Regards, Somehow uncertain independent Ohio voter John Q. Public

Mrs. Vera Newman,San Francisco, California.Photo: Mark Trevorrow

Dear Junk Pukeblitzer,

Thanks for writing in, yet again, as you begin the long process of letting somebody else eventually make up your State’s mind for you.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs Vera: Which is worse? The Shutdown or Barilla™?

Vera on scroll

Dear Mrs. Vera,

What’s worse, The Shutdown or Barilla™?

Guido Boehner, Annapolis, MD

Mrs. Vera Newman,San Francisco, California.Photo: Michael Johnstone.

Dear Giovanni NoBarroehner,

This is a very easy question to answer, especially if you are a female lady who ever came from a family, even one of those families that doesn’t count enough to deserve eating a specific brand of dried paste that is for sale in many shops and markets.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: Do filibusters actually accomplish anything positive?

Vera, with Henson magnets

Dear Mrs. Vera,

So, do filibusters actually accomplish anything positive?

Truly Yours, Philip Ulcer

Mrs. Vera Newman,San Francisco, California.Photo: Cameron Wolf

Dear Mr. Cruz,

On behalf of my readers, I must thank you for writing in, even if under a nom-de-plume (that’s Quebecois for faker) and calling attention to this most pressing of issues.  Being subjected to a filibuster-a-thon™ from a stubborn foreigner Texan truly feels like attending a function where everyone is depressed because the host is insisting on playing a party game involving running your head through a letterpress or embossing machine, with the most points going to the person who sustains the least brain damage.  … [Read more]

Ask Mrs Vera: Should Starbucks™ provide a place for customers to check their guns?

Vera at Starbucks

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Do you think that Starbucks™ should provide a place for customers to check their guns?

Sincerely Yours, Jerry Baldwin, Seattle, Washington

Mrs. Vera Newman,San Francisco, California.Photo: Ghislaine Alix Loree

Dear Venti Grandewin,

Thanks for writing!  Despite how much everybody hates your company, they all agree that however gross the food is, and however soul-destroying the general aesthetic of these stores is, when Starbucks™  is considered in terms of its manners, nobody is arguing that the basic approach to the customer experience isn’t polite, tidy and nicely thought out — not compared to most addict shacks, opium dens and needle-drug shooting galleries.… [Read more]

Dear Mrs. Vera: Please explain why people object to Obamacare.

Vera, with purple, wool do

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Please explain why people object to Obamacare.

Regards Sincerely, Mrs. Petunia Kevorkian

Mrs. Vera Newman,San Francisco, California.Photo: Marc Huestis

Dear Please Put A Cork In It,

There are as many reasons for not liking something as there are people not to like out there, and our form of representational government insures that most of these unpleasant individuals will be front and center, right in the debate over Obamacare being held in the delightful thought experiment known affectionately, when you are trying to get in its pants, or abusively, if it lets you get into its pants, as Congress.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: Will the Fukushima nuclear plant destroy the world?

Mrs. Vera, in mourning for Sol III.

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Will the Fukushima nuclear plant destroy the world?

Yours Sincerely, Leó Szilárd, Budapest, Hungary

Dear Louis Lizard and all my troubled readers fearing the end of the world before they ever get to see Belgium up close in person and say “Walloon” a lot,

Don’t panic. Let’s all just quickly, quietly and in an orderly manner proceed to the sub-sub basement while thinking centered thoughts about frolicking, boiling dolphins fleeing the Pacific Ocean, um, er, I mean contented piles of algae growing slowly on the shores of Antarctica, as we make our way to the panic room/world headquarters in our new exciting subterranean mise-en-scene, before finally drawing a deep breath and relaxing.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: If Obama says he wants to invade Syria, will the GOP be against it, just because?

Vera with rabbit nose

Dear Mrs. Vera,

I am havink many bells, I even haff one that vhen you ring it, it causink countries to divide themselves bitterly along religiousky lines and gatherink up eye-pokink sticks, yes?  If I can find it again, wherever it has gotten off to, should I send it to President Obama? If he rings it while asking “Who vants to invadink Syria with me, da?” will world peace break out as Republicans prepare to do anything and everything to stop his Socialist plot to try and save some Syrian lives no matter how many Syrians might actually not be helped or killed in the process?  … [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: Should PFC Bradley Manning have received 35 years in jail or a medal?

Vera with Christmassy onion rings

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Should PFC Bradley Manning have received 35 years in jail or a medal?

Regards, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Tunguska Hollow, Cloud Heaven… [Read more]

Celebrating birthdays

Celebration cake

 

Birthdays are one of many special occasions that many of us celebrate. Coming around once a year often reminds us that time whizzed quickly past us and that we are now a year older with more experiences to look back on.

As a kid you really look forward to your birthday. You can’t wait to grow older and cut the birthday cake.… [Read more]

Ask Mrs. Vera: Should Jesse Jackson Jr. receive a suspended sentence because he’s bi-polar?

Vera with silly putty eggs and eisenglass circlets

Dear Mrs. Vera,

Should Jesse Jackson, Jr. receive a suspended sentence after stealing three quarters of a million dollars because he’s bi-polar?

Yours Truly, Vincent van Gogh, Arles, France.

Mrs. Vera Newman,San Francisco, California.Photo: Bill Bowers

Dear Vincent,

I’ve heard an earful this week from readers wanting to know how to handle themselves around politicians suffering from bi-polar disease, but yours was the only one that generated a lot of very keen interest from the dog when it arrived in the morning mail.… [Read more]